Challenging the ‘artisanal vs. industrial’ dichotomy in French Atlantic fisheries: An organizational typology of multi-vessel fishing firms

Type Article
Date 2021-12
Language English
Author(s) Kinds ArneORCID2, 3, 4, Le Floc h Pascal4, Speelman Stijn2, Guyader OlivierORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Unité d′Economie Maritime, UMR 6308, CNRS, Ifremer, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, IUEM, Plouzané, France
2 : Department of Agricultural Economics, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium
3 : Flanders Research Institute for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (ILVO), Ostend, Belgium
4 : Unité d′Economie Maritime, UMR 6308, CNRS, Ifremer, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, IUEM, Plouzané, France
Source Marine Policy (0308-597X) (Elsevier BV), 2021-12 , Vol. 134 , P. 104753 (12p.)
DOI 10.1016/j.marpol.2021.104753
WOS© Times Cited 2
Keyword(s) Fishing firms, Organizational structure, Firm governance, Multi-vessel ownership, Concentration, Artisanal fisheries, Fisheries management

We put under scrutiny the ‘artisanal vs. industrial’ dichotomy used by French fisheries management for classifying fishing operations. Recent evolutions in the Atlantic fishing sector urge us to question its applicability. In particular the definition of the so-called ‘artisanal fishing model’ is under pressure (e.g., decline of family-based fishing, multi-vessel companies increasingly common, emergence of new forms of firm governance). Using mixed-method research (interviews, multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and hierarchical clustering), we propose a new typology for classifying multi-vessel fishing firms, based on six organizational attributes (ownership structure, firm structure, management strategy, firm size, fishing strategy and valorization strategy). We have carried out a three-step analysis. First, the MCA suggests that the diversity of organizational forms can be described to a great extent in terms of the profile of the owner and the firm’s management and valorization strategies. The cluster analysis then separates organizational configurations in five types, based on cluster-specific modalities: access to key information, legal form, vessel maintenance and standardization, growth objectives and management structure. The final description of the types draws from additional interview data as well as variables that were not used in the analysis. The typology captures the diversity of governance configurations currently existing in the sector, while providing some insight into their origins and future trajectories. We conclude that the artisanal model is outdated and insufficient for describing the organizational diversity of modern-day fishing firms, especially those in the 12–18 m and 18–24 m segments.

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